Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Why Aren't My Endless Summer Blue Hydrangeas Flowering?

Hello again,

Like many people's Endless Summer Blue Hydrangeas my blue beauties are not flowering nearly as prolifically as they did last year. Tim Bate in a recent note to a Skillin's customer gives some good reasons why:

A few things can impact flowering on those blue hydrangeas...

1. Prune in May only the branches and tips that are dead.  Fall pruning diminishes flower show. 

2. Bare ground winters can be hard on the flower buds, which wait patiently on the stems for spring.  When they are buried in snow they get extra protection. (We were definitely light on the snowfall this past winter)

3. Early warm springs followed by cold snaps fool the plant and flower buds.

Remember that nice warm stretch in March?  Well, that is likely responsible for the weak flower show this year.  The buds start to expand thinking the season has begun, opening too much and becoming vulnerable to the still brutal cold on the way.

4. Keep lawn fertilizers away from their roots.  Too much nitrogen causes great leaf growth, but at the expense of flowers.

These are the primary flower inhibiting scenarios.

I am sure you will see better displays in subsequent summers, and you may still see some blossoms later this year, as the Endless Summer variety flowers on new growth as well as second year branches.

Tim Bate
Skillin's Greenhouses
August 22, 2012

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